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ALEXANDER VON   HUMBOLBT.                  87
time or was able to tear himself from the preparatory
labours for his work. In the spring of 1805, the
longing for his elder brother led him to Rome, where
he paid a lengthened visit to his brother's family.
William von Humboldt lived in Albano in a brilliant
circle of wealth, and of intimacy with the most dis-
tinguished men at that time living in Borne, and
Alexander's arrival increased the brilliancy and charm
of the intellectual and genial circle. The joy of
Meeting between the two brothers so tenderly united
in love, and so akin In their spiritual life from their
earliest youth, was rich in exalted feelings and happy
impressions. While William had expected the re-
turn of his brother with anxiety and longing, Alex-
ander brought back into his brother's house that
centre of intellectual life in classic antiquity, beside
the dangers overcome, beside love and affectionate
excitement, the grandest views of a newly discovered
world in the freshest tints of their impressions. How
vivid must have been the exchange of their thoughts
and emotions, how must not Alexander, as the dis-
coverer of a now scientific and real world, have been
the radiating centre round which all who belonged to
the Intellectual circle of Humboldt^s house eagerly
With what astonishment must they have lis-
tened to his communications, for which nature had
endowed him with a glowing Eloquence, when he gave
them the images of new scenes., new natural and
human life from the rich treasure of his new expe-
riences. William, von Humboldt especially was most
inspired,, as he was, more than all others, able justly
to comprehend his brother's new views, to follow him
in the new regions of science, and to raise his own,
European self-consciousness, his classical studies, and
his political views to a higher, more universal stan-
dard through Alexander's descriptions.
But Alexander had brought special treasures for
his Intellectually congenial brother from the new
world. We have before hinted that William voa